High blood pressure, or simply hypertension, arises when your blood pressure escalates to unhealthy levels. The measurement of blood pressure focuses on the volume of blood that passes through blood vessels and the degree of resistance that blood encounters while the heart is thrusting. Narrow arteries intensify resistance. If you have narrow arteries, your blood pressure will be high. Over time, increased pressure can trigger health issues like heart disease.
Hypertension usually progresses over a couple of years. Mostly, you don’t discover any obvious symptoms. However, even without clear symptoms, this complication can cause serious harm to your blood vessels and essential organs, particularly the heart, brain, kidney, and eyes. Early detection and treatment are vital. Frequent blood pressure readings can assist you and your medical expert to detect any changes. You can also check out for the following 7 signs of elevated blood pressure.
1. Severe Headaches
Severe and persistent headaches, particularly at the back of your head, are a common sign of high blood pressure. These headaches are common during the morning hours or after walking for a few minutes. Getting dull headaches due to hypertension means that your life is at risk and you need medical help.
Nosebleeds that arise more often than normal may be another sign of hypertension in women. Just like headaches, frequent nosebleeds due to high blood pressure mostly arise during the late phases of the disease. Medical professionals recommend having your blood tested for hypertension in two-year intervals starting at age 20. This way, your doctor will detect the condition before it is too late.
3. Dizziness and Pain in Various Body Parts
Dizziness may refer to a wide array of distinct feelings. Some folks call it giddiness while others call it “dizzy spell.” Dizziness includes lightheadedness, feeling off balance, chest tightness, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting. Hypertensive women experience more difficulties in breathing, nausea, and vomiting compared to men. They also experience frequent pain in the jaw, abdomen, neck, throat, or back. Sudden dizziness, the absence of coordination, and difficulty walking are signs of chronic high blood pressure that can easily cause a stroke.
4. Heavy or Strenuous Breathing
Having heavy or labored breathing, particularly while resting, can be a sign of hypertension. It is an indication that the functioning of the heart is not normal. This phenomenon can cause heart failure or heart attack with a short duration if left unattended.
5. Lower Tolerance to Simple Exercises
One major warning sign of hypertension is decreased exercise tolerance. If you could walk up several stairs effortlessly in the past, but nowadays you feel extremely exhausted or even have to take a break, then you should consider having your blood pressure checked.
6. Chest Pain
During the later stages of hypertension, patients report feeling fatigued and severe chest pains. These pains are mostly accompanied by nausea, which is more prominent. Thus, most people can easily confuse the warning signs of the flu. Knowing your risk factor is the best trick for differentiating between high blood pressure and flu. If you are in good shape and one day you wake up with what you consider flu, you most likely have the flu. However, if you are generally sedentary, obese, and have a family history of cardiovascular disease, you should go for a medical checkup.
Preeclampsia is a condition whereby blood pressure arises during pregnancy, specifically after 20 weeks. Severe preeclampsia can trigger damage to vital body organs and brain, which can cause life-threatening seizures called eclampsia. Preeclampsia signs range from vision changes, intense headaches, and presence of protein in the urine. Other symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling excessively on the feet and hands. Hypertension during pregnancy can result in premature birth or premature placenta detachment.
Why is Hypertension Called the “Silent Killer?”
Over time, the ceaseless elevated pressure of blood exerts more stress on the blood vessels as well as internal organs. Most people don’t go to the hospital until the illness has caused extensive destruction to the blood vessels and critical organs like kidneys and the heart. Due to this reason, high blood pressure is known worldwide as the “silent killer.”
The 7 signs of hypertension discussed in this article call for immediate medical attention. Remember, they don’t happen in every hypertensive individual and waiting for a warning sign of this disorder to appear may be fatal. The most reliable way of detecting hypertension is getting blood pressure readings regularly.